Introducing: The Suede Overshirt

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A few readers have asked over the years about a suede overshirt on PS - particularly following the series of articles we did this time last year, on jacket substitutes like overshirts, chores and tebas

So when we visited the suede workshop Rifugio in Naples last year (above), I began the process of talking to them about making an overshirt together. I had known Rifugio through the designer brands they made for, but that was my first exposure to their own work, and it was impressive. 

From the start, we had two key requirements. One, we wanted to use the finest suede available. We knew this would make the overshirt expensive, but it was the quality Rifugio made for those designers, and I wanted to offer the same thing to readers. 

And two, I wanted the same design and sizing as the linen overshirt with Luca Avitabile. This was because readers like that design so much - with its clean look but hidden pockets - but also because it meant sizing would be easy. Hundreds of readers already own a linen overshirt, so they would know exactly how the suede would fit and function. 

Fortunately Luca and Alfonso Rifugio knew each other, so the collaboration was straightforward. Patterns were shared and a prototype created.

I’ve been wearing that prototype and the production sample that followed a lot in the past couple of months. One thing I’ve learnt is that the shirt is pretty versatile, from cool weather to hot. 

You can wear it in the manner above, with a cashmere crewneck underneath, jeans and boots, and it works as a functional spring outer layer. Or, you can wear it with just a T-shirt, linen trousers and loafers, and it’s good for summer. 

Not the height of summer of course - not 30+ degrees - but it will probably be at least two months before we get to those temperatures in the UK, perhaps even more. There’s a lot of this ‘transitional’ weather to come, and then in the autumn as well. 

I was also really pleased with the colour. I wanted something that could be versatile, as we’d initially be offering it in just one. The first prototype was a pale sand, and that wasn’t right. For the second sample, I chose a light brown, and that turned out more tobacco-like than I expected. 

But as I started to wear this colour - pictured - the more I liked it. It’s more muted than the tobacco you normally see in menswear (and than the Linen Overshirts) and darker too. 

A good illustration is that while the Suede Overshirt works well with the denim, grey and olive shown in the outfits in this article, it’s also very cool with black. I wore it last weekend with a white T-shirt, black jeans and black loafers, and it was great. A more orange-y colour would have looked stark, and a little cheap. 

Aside from that outfit - which I can shoot later in the summer or perhaps include in some socials - I wanted to show today that the overshirt was nice with denim and cotton, with jeans and tailored trousers, and with neutrals and colour. 

So the outfit above is green high-twist trousers, a blue/white shirt, brown suede loafers and a conker-coloured tote. You can see how nice the tobacco is with these autumnal tones. 

But the other warm-weather outfit is all neutrals - white and beige, below. Again a stronger tobacco colour would look stark and even a little cheap in this kind of outfit. 

The overshirt has all the nice details of the Linen Overshirt

  • Deep, flapped chest pockets 
  • Hand pockets that are hidden discreetly below
  • Internal patch pocket on the hip (above)
  • Variegated horn buttons
  • Shirt cuffs, enabling them to be rolled back in warmer weather (below)
  • A collar that looks good up or down, and folds elegantly forward at the ends when up

The only changes to the linen overshirt are that the box pleat has been removed (as it didn’t work that well in suede) and the hips have been enlarged slightly (as they stick more there than the linen). 

The buttonholes, collar and so on are not sewn by hand, but the work throughout is fine and precise - the level of work you’d expect for this quality of material. I particularly like the way the top of the pockets and the seam above them are finished (top image). 

The Suede Overshirt is available on the PS shop now. The price is £1550 plus VAT, which is a step above most products we offer, but great value in the same way - the finest suede simply costs this much, as you can see from similar products at Purple Label, Attolini or others. 

We haven’t made that many, as it’s a bit of an experiment, so if you are sure you want one I’d go for it now rather than waiting for another restock to save on shipping. I do want it to be something we continue to sell though - so as long as this batch goes well, we will offer it again. 

The size chart is included on the product page, though as I said it’s the same as the Linen Overshirt, with the exception of that little increase in the hips. 

Any questions, as ever, please ask in the comments. 

Restocked: Undershirt and shorts

In the spirit of having fewer shop emails, we're also using this opportunity to let readers know that two products have just been restocked in the PS Shop: the PS undershirt and shorts.

The undershirt

Sadly, the brand we originally developed this product with, Hamilton & Hare, is no longer in business. But we have managed to talk to the original factory and are now offering exactly the same product ourselves. It's the same lightweight, naturally stretchy cotton, made in a sports-style seamless construction. Full details on it here.

The PS short

A bit of a perennial this one. The style has evolved over the years, but has always been popular. Made by Rota in Italy, it was designed to be an average, everyday short, just with some little sartorial touches like pleats and turn-ups. This year only the navy and the khaki have been restocked, as the olive cloth was not available. Double pleats were also popular last year, so we've stuck with those.

Other updates:

Linen Harrington - Restocked in navy, and with new Art du Lin brown colour (below)

Dartmoor and Finest Crewneck - Restocked in cream and grey, and navy and dark grey, respectively

Oxford shirts and cloth - Restocked in white, blue, blue stripe, green stripe and pink stripe

T-shirts - Later this month

Chambray and denim shirts - Later this month

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Max

really loving it! could you explain why you have choosen deep chest pockets? Does the position affect the visual appearance or is this just a personal choice? In this regard I mean if it makes someone look taller/smaller or wider/narrow. I am really interested which arguments have went into this 🙂

Charles

Thanks Simon – presumably this is similar to the RLPL Barron overshirt in terms of finish, quality and thickness?

Michael

You’ve absolutely nailed that Simon. Feels like (i) a throwback to the article from a good few years back with the earthy summer colours (one of the first articles on the site I’d ever read), but with the overshirt moving with the times, and (ii) an improved version of the Connolly Driver overshirt. Hopefully there’s enough time to save up before they fly out!

Philip

Wow, it looks very, very nice! I wish I didn’t have a suede overshirt already…

Robin

That looks amazing. Whilst your previous writing about overshirts led me to Simone Abbarachi and ordering a MTM Overshirt I think this time the price of suede will be beyond my means .
Interesting to hear you write “I had known Rifugio through the designer brands they made for”.
It would be good to get an article on the manufacturers ‘behind the scenes’ who make for brands.
It’s something I only learnt about recently . One always assumes that Ralph Lauren , Paul Smith etc all own the factories that manufacture their goods .
I know previously you did a very good article about suits being made to grades in the past and how that was overtaken by people buying just on brand name .
Good luck on this venture .

Philip Patrick

Looks gorgeous. An excellent idea. The Purple Label ones now are nearly 2.5K, so old Ralph needs a bit of competition. Hope more colours will follow eventually. Please consider olive!

Amit

Hello Simon. I think my search ends here with The Suede Overshirt. I was searching world over for an suede jacket. God willing let’s see if I can get my hands on this one. I intend to style The Suede Overshirt with my Indigo Jeans and Army / Fatigue trousers (olive). Please let me know your thoughts on this one. Also I intend to buy The Undershirt. I’m a size Small in the PS T-Shirts. If you would be kind enough to tell me the shoulder size of The Undershirt in size Small and Medium. I don’t want it too snug on me. Thank you Simon.

Amit

INTRODUCING: THE SUEDE OVERSHIRT 🇬🇧 Simon Crompton from Permanent Style – https://youtube.com/shorts/Pq5NkPaHGb0?feature=shared

Hello Simon if you could kindly provide me with the name of the photographer for me to give him the credit and release the video on my YouTube channel.

Amit

Thank you Simon!

Will

That’s a beautiful overshirt, and the article and photos offer yet another useful reminder about how one can think about neutrals and colours.

Would you mind answering a couple of questions on the undershirt?

1. What sort of ‘branding’ does it have on the interior now that you’re offering it in association with the original factory and no longer with Hamilton & Hare?

2. To save on shipping, I’d ideally order a couple of undershirts together with the T-shirts (and possibly chambray and denim shirts) when the latter are also restocked. How likely would you think it is that the undershirt will still be available in a medium by the time of the other restocks?

Will

Thanks, Simon. 🙂 It’s sad of course about H&H, but nice that the interior of the PS undershirt’s neckline will now be more understated. (A very small silver lining, admittedly…)

Daniel

Hey Simon,

Gorgeous. I already have a similar colored suede overshirt, but will definitely pick this up in the future in a different colorway should that happen.

Could I ask what these olive trousers are? Don’t think I have seen these ones before.

Daniel

Thanks Simon. I couldn’t resist and ended up purchasing the overshirt anyway.

Would I be able to ask for the fabric code for those olive trousers and those beige/biscuit colored trousers?

Martins

Absolutely love it! Unfortunately affording it would be irresponsible. Eh. Maybe in couple years!

Scott

This overshirt is fabulous! I wear a size 5 in a Private White jacket and I have a PS polo size large. May I assume that the appropriate size in this garment and the linen Harrington for me is large?

Ian

Hi Simon
might sound a strange question , given the like for like measurements , but how does the fit compare to the over shirt .
I always tend to size down when buying leather jackets . The sleeve length is always a challenge .
I am happy rolling up the sleeves of a linen overshirt ( and having a slightly oversized fit ) but the added bulk of leather can be an issue .
please could you comment on whether going down a size ( v the overshirt ) would be a step too far ? I certainly don’t want to look constricted .
Regards , Ian

Mark

Favorite no-shows with your picadilly’s?

Htin Linn

Curious about this overshirt and chambray shirts coming later. I do however have a couple of questions.

How does the weight of the suede for this overshirt compare to Drake’s chore jacket? They are both unlined it seems. The unlined heavy suede on Drake’s can make it hard to put on the jacket at times. As well as cause pilling on knitwear more easily. Are they valid concerns with this overshirt?

Will you be doing colors other than blue for the denim and chambray shirts?

Markus

Interesting, I imagine it feels a bit more snug than the linen version considering the thickness of the material?

Rav

Hi Simon,
I don’t own the linen overshirt but I do have a few of Luca’s large long-sleeve polos (which fit a bit snug through the chest) – how would you say the sizing compares? I would most likely wear this more casually with dark indigo jeans and a white, grey, or black tee, perhaps a light jumper weather permitting.

Winot

Bloody hell XL sold out already! You have too many large readers with large wallets Simon.

Sean

Hi Simon,
I hope it’s okay if I ask an unrelated question here. When wearing a tailored jacket, how do you decide whether you want to use chinos or jeans (ecru-type colours)? To me, tailored trousers are sort of their own category and I would prefer those for any sort of odd jacket look in which I wanted to wear a tie. But chinos (single stitch + crease) and jeans seem to function pretty similarly in my mind. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks.

Matt L

Hi Simon. Could I get your input on how this is different to the suede overshirt offered by Cromford leather, aside from the style?

Matt L

Thanks Simon.

David

Simon a fundamental part in assessing the suitability of a garment such as this is its weight.
With zero breathability, I think it needs to be disclosed ( as would be the case with the material used to make any article made from wool or cotton rather than animal skin ).
Could you pease advise on this?

Guy W

Damn, I slept on the shorts and it seems the khaki has already sold out in my size. Any idea when these would be restocked? I presume not till next year

Guy W

No worries, cheers Simon

J Crewless

Looks good. Thumbs up 👍.

Brendan

Simon, any reason why no hand finishing on buttons and collar? I thought Riffugio usually does this, at least for their in-house label.

Leif

Very nice.
The profile of you walking past the stone wall, olive pants, dark loafers, no socks — this is by far the nicest arrangement with the suede shirt.
This is a personal take here, but for some reason I see casual outfits without jeans as more inspired than outfits with jeans. Jeans to me seem to have run their course in the world of men’s clothing.

Leif

Well, re. popularity… as I like to point out, in the US at least, McDonald’s is popular, but the food is absolutely terrible and there are numerous places to get a far. far better meal of the same sort (shake, burger and fries). All sorts of atrocious things, in the world of food, clothing, etc., enjoy popularity but what of it? I think the point in choosing a fine wardrobe is to be distinguished, to step out beyond what is merely popular with the masses.
If you gave in fully to popularity, we’d see you in some tacky, poofy North Face jacket, sneakers with wild colors, a floppy knit cap worn in the hottest temperatures, Justin Bieber would be your new fashion idol… OK, I’ve gone to far.
Ha, ha!

SamS

I think the problem with jeans today is that they have become so generic that they no longer make a statement. When something is for everyone, it’s for no one. Jeans are worn by punks and middle managers, by fuddy old men, suburban dads and fashion-forward teenagers. They don’t vary that much except for how skinny they are, or how pre-distressed they are, with the possible exception of some craft brands.

Are jeans still useful? Yes. Can jeans still look good? Definitely. But they have become one of the least interesting things you can wear. It’s the safest possible choice out there. You will look like everyone else: no putting on airs, but barring extremely distressed versions you meet the minimum standard of being presentable.The days when denim was a bit rock’n’roll are mostly over, it’s now the epitome of omnivourus, “democratised” style: everyone wearing the same thing, (almost) noone looks good doing it. Is Mao getting the last laugh on capitalism?

Leif

Simon, I of course agree with Sams.
To jump off from this, I think denim jackets when worn with non-denim pants (a nice cord or wool) make for a sharp, casual outfit. I’m not sure why — maybe that a traditional, say, Lee Storm Rider has a sort of tailored figure flattering cut, whereas jeans can become a bit… clumpy… I can’t find the word for it, but they don’t have the drape that other fabrics do.
Isn’t it best to “start from the floor”; finest shoes, finest pants, then as we move above the waist, the outfit can relax more, denim jacket for instance.
I think this is why the very special suede over-shirt, followed by “just jeans”, is not as successful in my view as the outfit with the olive pants.

SamS

I completely agree with the statement that there’s good denim, but I am not sure that most people would actually like good jeans more. I think the comparison to hamburgers above is pretty accurate: people get accustomed to horrible, processed scab burgers to the point where they prefer it to something that contains real, unaltered meat. And once the standard becomes a $1 cheeseburger, paying $15 for a craft burger may well seem crazy.

I think we’ve seen the same with tailoring: people got used to the idea to short, skin-tight jackets worn by fit young influencers, to the point where a properly cut suit started looking old fashioned. And I’m guessing a lot of people today would prefer a pair of stretchy, industrially washed, pre-distressed jeans that feel comfy from day one (to day 150 or so, when the elastene wears out and you replace them), rather than wearing cardboard-stiff raw denim and taking care of it for 150 days until it starts breaking in.

All this said, I wear denim, just as much as everyone else. Indigo and black for utilitarian purposes (proper denim is hard-wearing), ecru for style. Still, I find denim to be among the least inspiring thing to wear, for the above reasons. It’s been (industrially) washed of any message or cultural significance it once had. A bit of a sad fate for what was once an icon of working-class rebellion and rock’n’roll, but on the bright side it does make denim an excellent neutral background. Jeans and tshirt is quite bland today (even McQueens halo effect fades eventually), but it can be used in combinations with more stand-out pieces.

Alexander

I get what you are saying. But one could say similar things about chinos. You could easily look like someone who doesn’t care at all. But at the same time we as PS readers know those people or small brands that wear or make incredible chinos, made with a definite attitude, that can make a statement and get people excited who really care about clothes.

Leif

I agree with you completely, and very well said.

Jack French

Superb overshirt!

I’m also intrigued by your comments that different shades – orange-y or a stronger tobacco colour – would look stark and a little cheap. Could you explain a bit more about why certain colour combinations would look cheap?

I know it can be a subtle distinction, but that’s what we’re here to learn about, right?

Jack French

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Simon.

Carl

This is really a lovely Overshirt in what seems to be a fantastic material. I will pass this time as I recently bought an MTM suede blouson from Saman Amel in a brown that is darker and a bit colder. I will use it when its to cold to wear the PS Overshirts in navy and brown that I also own. Your product line is really great and inspirational. Even if everything isn’t for me (me wife complains, for good reasons, that I already own too much outerwear, and most is from you and/or Private White).

Markus S

By now, I have quite a few of your products (oxford shirts, chambray shirt, shorts, t-shirts in all colours, Friday long-sleeve polos and the merino short-sleeve polos). All great products, my favourites are the oxford shirts followed by the t-shirts, and one can rely that it will be excellent quality.
I would be very interested on an article, how good your products sold. Are there any top-achievers, which ones turned sold sluggish and were there even some where you could not sell the entire batch.
That would be interesting reading.

Graham

Simon,

Any chance there’d be XS size made in the next run? I hope so!
Cheers!

Dave

Hi Simon, lovely new overshirt material and great design. The article says you plan to offer the suede overshirt again if all goes well with this batch. Any idea on when that would be?

MBB355

Any idea on if/when these will restock? I missed out on the first run but this looks fabulous!

Thomas

How do you think the quality of the suede compares to that of Zegna’s £5k overshirts? Thanks

Bernie

Hi Simon, it was a pleasure meeting you during your last trip to NYC. I’m looking forward to a restock of the suede overshirt. I wanted to get your opinion on sizing. I own the linen overshirt in M and while I initally thought it was just a little bit too long for my height of 5’8″, it became the perfect length after 1 wash. The shoulders were fine before but even better after the wash. For a suede version, would it be better to go for a S given that the length can’t be adjusted with a wash?

Bernie

Thanks Simon!

Zawaad

Considering the linen overshirt in an XL fits more like a “slightly over-shirt”, would you recommend passing on this one as a piece of light outerwear? I do love the linen one and have been wearing it quite a bit, but I do wish it had some more room around the shoulders and chest. However I do understand that in order to do that, you’d likely just have to create a new XXL size.